The federal government’s Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) program includes funding for individual states, along with support for federal agencies’ programs. Funding for states is premised on the development every five years of a State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan, or SCORP. SCORPs are reviewed and approved by the National Park Service (NPS).
INVENTORIES: A key element in SCORPs is the inventorying of the current state of recreation opportunities in a state. Most states do not have full GIS inventories of all local and regional parks, though they often have reasonable data on state and federal protected areas. PAD-US can help “fill in” some of these gaps for states that don’t have comprehensive inventory programs, where it has that data, and provide a road map of data standards and practices that can make such inventories easier to conduct.
LWCF GRANT TRACKING: Most state LWCF grant funding goes for projects in public parks and protected areas. While some states have very good GIS tracking (polygons of grant areas, or at least point locations) of their LWCF grants, many have no GIS data on grant locations and may have inaccurate location descriptions in their LWCF reports submitted to NPS (these are generally PDF documents, too) – indicated locations can be some distance from actual locations (hundreds of feet, and sometimes more). PAD-US allows users to see parks in relation to LWCF grant locations, improving accuracy. For NPS, PAD-US can serve as a single-source base map to review LWCF grant locations.
LWCF 6F: A key provision of the LWCF legislation is section 6f, which provides that sites acquired or developed with LWCF funding shall permanently remain accessible to public recreational use. To monitor the status of LWCF sites for 6f compliance, PAD-US can be combined with a simple web application that allows state LWCF managers to virtually inspect many sites using a combination of aerial imagery, oblique angle high resolution air photos and even street-view images.
DEMONSTRATION: For grant tracking and for 6f compliance, a demonstration use of MapCollaborator was developed by its publisher, the nonprofit GreenInfo Network. See the LWCF MapCollaborator in action here.